We had the good fortune of connecting with Marixa Andrade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marixa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
More than a thought process it was life happening and giving me new opportunities. At the time, I had a good job, but I didn’t feel like I was making a difference sitting behind a desk all day. I was also going through a transition in my life. I was getting married and I had recently moved from Colorado to Texas. It all seemed like the perfect opportunity to reinvent myself. From the very beginning I was having a lot of fun creating photos outdoors. I was enjoying being outdoors and learning about every family’s life was very interesting. As the years have gone by, I have learned that I am truly making a difference in every single family’s life. Especially now that I have gotten to the point where people I have photographed have passed away. I have really gotten to understand the value of capturing memories of people with their loved ones. I am essentially capturing family’s legacies and I am capturing the love they have for one another. Recently, I have decided I want to specialize in boudoir photography, which has been even more rewarding than family portraiture. I love both genres, but there’s nothing like hearing a woman say she feels more confident about herself after a boudoir session. Boudoir has connected me to women on a deeper level and it truly makes me feel like I have made a difference for the better in their lives, almost instantly. I am very thankful for every woman’s trust and I keep striving to show them just how powerful, beautiful, and sensual they are. I currently probably work 200% times harder than I ever did sitting behind a desk doing administrative work, but I honestly wouldn’t change it for anything because the feedback my clients give me truly leave me with all the fuzzy warm feelings. I’m hooked!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Part of creating my portraits consists on getting in touch with my clients on the phone, which may be strange to some these days. I also reveal my sessions in person. I don’t publish anything until my client has first viewed it. I normally travel to my client’s home to reveal their session. I actually love seeing their reactions when they first see their photos; it’s very emotional! For boudoir, there’s nothing like getting to know who you will be photographing you. Also, getting to know my clients and hearing about their life gives me the ingredients to create even more meaningful portraits for them. I also advice them on what to wear, what they plan to do with their portraits, where they want to hang them. The process of creating portraits with me lasts 2-3 months, from the time of our first consultation to creating the photos, to printing, and delivering their finished products. So creating this personal connection where we can speak to each other without feeling awkward is definitely overcome by constant physical and over the phone communication. I feel this personal connection is what sets me apart from others and it’s what makes the experience more enjoyable for my clients and myself. The challenge in today’s world is making the time to get to know other people. It’s also a challenge to convince women they are perfect just the way they are now. Boudoir, for me, is essentially therapeutic. Whatever challenge you are facing, taking boudoir portraits can be healing as well as celebratory of who you are. I am very thankful for my clients in letting me into their lives. I definitely want to let these wonderful women know that they are not just another transaction for me, I am genuinely interested in creating photos they will enjoy for decades to come, and that can only be accomplished through conversation. I am essentially becoming part of their homes and their memories, so I want to make sure they feel comfortable in front of my camera. My goal with every one of my boudoir clients is for them to feel assured that I will always respect their intimacy and their trust in me with their stories and their photos.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I think that if you come down to Houston, you also have to go down to Galveston. Galveston is actually a very picturesque island and I feel like slowly but surely it’s becoming a tourist attraction. Definitely visit Beach Town in Galveston, which is free and has a beautiful walkway to the beach. It’s quite romantic, quiet, and perfect little get away. I am also a big fan of culture, so you definitely need to check out the new developments going on in Harrisburg Boulevard. There’s a latin inspired development going on near Marbella on Harrisburg. Houston is finally including its Mexican heritage to its citizens and any tourists with the addition of this project. We will have a Callejon del Beso, which is an iconic street in Guanajuanto, Mexico–now in Houston. I feel like not many people know about this place yet, so if you get a chance definitely check it out to show our support for this new project in our city. Every sunday morning on East End Park on Harrisburg Blvd you may also find Aztec dancers practicing their dance, many of which I can call my friends. Again, some of those cultural aspects that are amazing to see flourishing in Houston. If you’re up for a burger and a beer, I definitely recommend Moon Tower Inn on Canal Street. They have a super chill atmosphere and always have activities to enjoy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As of last year I have had support from at least two different photographers on a one on one mentorship. Their help has really made me focus on my own work. For a long time, I was seeking validation from others, but today I understand that I have to first value my own work and keep developing my vision. Tabitha Bowman was great at helping me see that planning marketing plans is a big part of being a successful photographer through her program, The photographer’s Initiative. Tabitha took time out of her busy day to speak to me and resolve my questions on marketing many times. Also, I recently came across Luci Dumas. She recently became my business coach. She has been very inspiring and has definitely made a point that we all need to seek our own voice in the photography industry. She has a great podcast, which is how I first got to know her, The Profitable Photographer. I can’t wait to see what I’ll be able to do with all the knowledge she is passing on to me through her one on one coaching.
the photo of myself in the purple room is taken by my sister Jacqueline Andrade at J. Andrade Visual Arts